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American ethnic groups less likely to have cholesterol controlled

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 10 Compared with non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics who qualify for cholesterol-lowering drug treatment are less likely to have their "bad" LDL cholesterol controlled to recommended levels, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2004.

"This study is the first large-scale, comparative evaluation of cholesterol treatment and control in four major U.S. ethnic groups," said David C. Goff, M.D., Ph.D., the report's first author and a professor of public health science and internal medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Researchers examined the cholesterol levels of 6,704 of the 6,814 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This ongoing study seeks to discover if any differences exist between ethnic groups in the development of heart disease.

The study measured prevalence and control of high cholesterol among the four ethnic groups, and found striking differences in treatments.

  • Among persons with high cholesterol, Hispanics were 36 percent less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have properly controlled cholesterol, and non-Hispanic blacks were 28 percent less likely. No difference was seen between Chinese Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
  • Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Chinese Americans were 21 percent less likely to meet the criterion for drug therapy. Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks were equally likely as non Hispanics whites to qualify for drug therapy.
  • At least 22.3 percent of all participants had cholesterol levels for which the guidelines recommend medications.
  • Among the 1,494 individuals meeting the criterion for drug therapy, only 39 percent received treatment, and treatment was often insufficient to meet recommended goals. Treatment began in August 2002 and continued till July 2002.
  • Men were 28 percen
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Contact: Karen Astle
karen.astle@heart.org
214-706-1392
American Heart Association
10-Nov-2004


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